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A Path Begins
Cover of A Path Begins
A Path Begins
The Thickety Series, Book 1
Borrow

The Thickety: A Path Begins is a spellbinding tale about a girl, the Thickety, and the power of magic. Fans of Neil Gaiman will love this thrilling new world.

When Kara Westfall was five years old, her mother was convicted of the worst of all crimes: witchcraft. Years later, Kara and her little brother, Taff, are still shunned by the people of their village, who believe that nothing is more evil than magic...except, perhaps, the mysterious forest that covers nearly the entire island. It has many names, this place. Sometimes it is called the Dark Wood, or Sordyr's Realm. But mostly it's called the Thickety.

The villagers live in fear of the Thickety and the terrible creatures that live there. But when an unusual bird lures Kara into the forbidden forest, she discovers a strange book with unspeakable powers. A book that might have belonged to her mother.

And that is just the beginning of the story.

Supports the Common Core State Standards
Publishers Weekly Best Book
IndieBound Indie Next List
Publishers Weekly Flying Start
Amazon's Big Spring Books
Washington Post Summer Book Club

The Thickety: A Path Begins is a spellbinding tale about a girl, the Thickety, and the power of magic. Fans of Neil Gaiman will love this thrilling new world.

When Kara Westfall was five years old, her mother was convicted of the worst of all crimes: witchcraft. Years later, Kara and her little brother, Taff, are still shunned by the people of their village, who believe that nothing is more evil than magic...except, perhaps, the mysterious forest that covers nearly the entire island. It has many names, this place. Sometimes it is called the Dark Wood, or Sordyr's Realm. But mostly it's called the Thickety.

The villagers live in fear of the Thickety and the terrible creatures that live there. But when an unusual bird lures Kara into the forbidden forest, she discovers a strange book with unspeakable powers. A book that might have belonged to her mother.

And that is just the beginning of the story.

Supports the Common Core State Standards
Publishers Weekly Best Book
IndieBound Indie Next List
Publishers Weekly Flying Start
Amazon's Big Spring Books
Washington Post Summer Book Club

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.1
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • J. A. White is the author of The Thickety: A Path Begins. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, three sons, and a hamster named Ophelia that doesn't like him very much. When he's not making up stories, he teaches a bunch of kids how to make up stories (along with math and science and other important stuff). He wishes dragons were real because it would be a much cooler way to get to work.

Reviews-
  • DOGO Books books247 - This book was way better than I first expected it to be. I was immediately wondering what was going on when the book started off with the main character Kara Westfall, at the time age 5, was forced to watch her mother’s execution because apparently her mother was a witch. After that every one in the town makes Kara, her brother Taff and her father’s lives miserable because they think that Kara is a witch as well. Later a 12 year old Kara is led into the Thickety, which is a magical forest that everyone is forbidden to go into, by a bird with one eye that changes colors in the middle of its chest. The Thickety reminds me a lot of the Forbidden forest in Harry Potter because in both books there are dangerous creatures in the forest, and no one is allowed to go in. In the town that the story takes place, it is practically a religion that anything magical, anyone that has or had anything to do with magic, or anything related to magic will and should be gotten rid off. Kara gets hold of a magical book that grants the wielder powers. The only problem is that the more you use it the more the book takes control of you. Its one of those books where you get extremely irritated and annoyed when the main character just cant kill the bad guy already! The main character just keeps showing the bad guy mercy thinking they will “change” and the bad guy just keeps being evil and does some giant thing that causes a giant twist at the end. Other than that this was a pretty good book.
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 24, 2014
    The followers of the Path have left the sinful world behind to live in the isolated community of De’Noran, which is increasingly encroached upon by the Thickety, the domain of the forest demon Sordyr. Kara Westfall’s mother was executed for the crime of witchcraft, and now her family ekes out a living under the burden of the community’s suspicion. It falls to 12-year-old Kara to keep her sickly younger brother and dysfunctional father alive. She negotiates the treacherous road of a pariah, attempting to persuade a proto-Puritanical society that she is harmless, even while the dangerously addictive powers she has inherited from her mother well up within her. In this darkly imaginative debut, White creates a fantasy world with creatures that are anything but sweet—a cyclopean bird, a multi-mouthed horror—and, after a deceptively satisfying resolution, he unfurls a twist that will make readers want the next chapter of Kara’s story immediately. White’s prose is evocative without being dense, and Offermann’s sharp-edged silhouettes (not all seen by PW) add an ominous note. Absolutely thrilling. Ages 8–12. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, Janklow & Nesbit.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2014

    Gr 5-8-"There is no such thing as a good witch." These words, well known to all the villagers of De'Noran, haunt 12-year-old Kara Westfall. Ostracized and abused, she and her brother are the children of the last known witch, who was hanged on the edge of the Thickety when Kara was five. As the tangled branches of the dark, forbidden forest spread closer to the village, something strange and powerful awakens in Kara. Was her mother's magic truly evil? White's debut novel is darkly bewitching. The isolation of De'Noran and the fervor of its residents create a heady suspense, and White's well-crafted characters operate beautifully within the fantastical world he has created. Offerman's inky silhouettes perfectly complement the story. Readers will devour each twist and turn of the plot, right up to the startling conclusion.-Sara Saxton, Wasilla Public Library, Wasilla, AK

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Lisa McMann, author of the New York Times bestselling The Unwanteds series "The Thickety is a sinister, magical debut with a marvelous and shocking heroine. J.A. White's elegant writing and masterful plot kept me turning pages late into the night."
  • Angie Sage, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Septimus Heap series "The Thickety may give you nightmares, but it is a gripping story with a great heroine."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Absolutely thrilling."
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Nail-biting suspense is the hallmark of this pleasantly accomplished debut. The spellbinding story, lashings of suspense and stalwart heroine will draw in fantasy fans and keep them reading until the bitter ending."
  • School Library Journal "White's debut novel is darkly bewitching. The well-crafted characters operate beautifully within the fantastical world he has created. Readers will devour each twist and turn of the plot, right up to the startling conclusion."
  • The Bulletin of The Center for Children's Books "A startling plot twist at the end will have readers urgently waiting for a sequel, and it may even lead them right back into the book to see if they missed earlier clues."
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    HarperCollins
  • OverDrive Read
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A Path Begins
The Thickety Series, Book 1
J. A. White
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